The Milwaukee Bucks have boycotted their first-round series playoff game scheduled for Wednesday against the Orlando Magic due to the civil unrest that has been exacerbated by the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on Sunday.
The decision comes shortly after the NBA Players Association’s executive committee held discussions with players about possible boycotts of postseason games, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
An assembly was held within the NBA’s bubble in Orlando on Tuesday night consisting of players who “are emotionally traumatized by the latest police-involved shooting” where Blake was shot in the back seven times by Kenosha PD.
“Sources said there is a sizable faction of players who are psychologically distraught,” Haynes wrote. Blake’s three children, aged 8, 5, and 3, were in the vehicle that the 29-year-old was trying to get into.
The assembly was attended by union President and Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul, and vice president and Miami Heat forward, Andre Iguodala.
Such a notion continues to gain traction after initial reports revealed that the Toronto Raptors were considering boycotting Game 1 of their second-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, which is scheduled for Thursday night.
The NBA has been the most socially involved and outspoken league over the last few months as players and coaches alike have been able to take advantage of their platform to address the issues stemming from the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor — whether it be police brutality or racial equality.
Players, however, are feeling that the resumption of play within the Orlando bubble is weakening their message as games provide a distraction from the overarching message.
“We shouldn’t have even come to this damn place, to be honest,” Bucks guard George Hill said earlier this week. “I think coming here just took all the focal points off what the issues are.”
The Bucks play just 40 miles north of where the shooting of Blake — who is reportedly in stable condition — took place.
“We’re here, so it is what it is,” Hill said. “We can’t do anything from right here, but I think definitely when it’s all settled, some things have to be done. I think this world has to change. I think our police department has to change. Us as a society has to change.
“Right now, we’re not seeing any of that. Lives are being taken as we speak, day in and day out, and there’s no consequence or accountability for it, and that’s what has to change.”
It is unknown at this time if the NBA plans to punish players or teams who choose to boycott.